“I'm not saying ignore fear. That's not healthy. But be aware of fear and don’t let it hinder your ability to move forward and create the things that you aspire to in your life
Sometimes we’ve just got to be able to act even though fear is there, and be confident enough that we're okay, that fear is normal and natural and it's okay for us to take action and execute anyway.
“Fear is activated anytime your unconscious self or your nervous system is anticipating some kind of pain.”
If you’re looking for tips on how to overcome fear and create the outcomes you know you want in your life, this episode is for you.
Watch the video to get the full training!
[The following is the full transcript of this episode of Joey’s Performance Tune Up With Joey Klein. Please note that this episode, like all episodes, features Joey speaking unscripted and unedited. This video is captured in one take.]
Hey there. Joey Klein here. We're going to jump in and talk a little bit about fear in its raw sense when we just sort of feel that sense of fear in life, right? As many of us know, most all fear that we experience is completely made up, meaning we're afraid of something that's essentially not there. And so when we come to understand what is fear, we can manage it very differently and ultimately take action despite fear. Sometimes we’ve just got to be able to act even though fear is there, and be confident enough that we're okay, that fear is normal and natural and it's okay for us to take action and execute anyway in the space that we're focusing on, knowing that fear is not actually there to tell us that something bad is about to happen.
I'm not saying ignore fear. That's not healthy. But be aware of fear and not let it hinder your ability to move forward and create the things that you aspire to in your life, right? Whether that's, you're in a new relationship and you have that fear of getting hurt, which then keeps you from creating the connections you deserve to have, right, love and connection in your life, or it's from a financial sense, right? I don't want to invest money or learn about that because I Invested one time in the past and I lost my money. And so we don't act when a good opportunity is before us, even though we vetted it and there's a high probability that we're going to make money, or taking on a new role in a job.
Like the fear of failure or the fear of being embarrassed or fear of making a mistake or fear of getting fired shows up and keeps us from taking action and embracing new possibilities and new opportunities, right? Fear keeps so many people from the life that's possible for them simply because they're not able to be aware of that fear and act confidently despite the fear.
So it's very healthy and very important to be able to learn how to be afraid and at times move forward despite the fear, knowing that we're going to produce the outcome by way of the actions that we're taking. Be afraid, take action anyway. We're going to be more capable of doing that as well as dissolving the fear entirely and taking action with confidence and inspiration and empowerment and taking action with a sense of love and connection in our relationships and embracing intimacy. Like, there's the space where we need to learn to drop fear and take action from some of those more empowered states and from those more empowered spaces as well. But we can't do that if we don't understand fear.
And so what we must first understand is that fear is just a biological process at its core. It's our nervous system's inherent survival instinct where it's looking at the environment, looking at reality and doing its best to assess threats and try to eliminate the pain of those threats, right? Or the life threatening reality of those threats. But the key to remember is it doesn't actually have to be a threat to set off our nervous system and for us to look at a situation or circumstance or something going on and be afraid, right?
Like many people know, the top fears of human beings, number one, even beyond the fear of death, is public speaking. And so that's a great example just to understand that most people aren't going to speak in public and drop dead, right? So it's an unreasonable fear. The fear of public speaking is essentially tied to the fear of being hurt, right? Assess the threat, eliminate the threat. That's all the nervous system is doing when we feel afraid. It's assessing a threat and doing its best to eliminate the threat. Assess the threat, eliminate the threat.
However, many of the things that our nervous system perceives as a threat isn't actually dangerous. Like, it's not life threatening to public speak. Statistically speaking, a lot of people are afraid of flying on airplanes. And statistically speaking, even if you flew for business three, four, five times a week, you have a much higher chance of dying in your bathtub at home from a slip or fall than you're probably going to die in an airplane. Just in terms of the humans who fly and those who actually end up dying in a plane crash, it's infinitesimally small. But it doesn't mean that the nervous system isn't going, this is a threat to my life. Right?
A lot of us look at relationships like getting close to people as a threat to our life or trusting people, and the fear of betrayal shows up, and my nervous system sees that as a threat to my life. And so all of these examples that I'm giving you are not actually life or death situations, but it doesn't mean that the nervous system isn't responding to them as such. And so if we want to oversimplify sort of where fear operates from, it's simply the nervous system doing its best to identify threats and eliminate those threats to ensure that we survive.
The key word there is survive. Make sure that we live another day. That's different than thrive. That's different than grow. That's very different than evolve into a better version of ourself and create the dreams that we aspire to for our life. Fear is not concerned with any of that. Fear is concerned with survival, maintaining whatever status quo is, okay? And anything that the nervous system perceives as a threat is really anything unfamiliar that could question or change our status quo. Number one, hey, there's a threat that could change my current status quo. Therefore, I need to eliminate the threat because it's questionable for survival. Like, that's how the nervous system is sort of playing out.
Or the second thing the nervous system learns to fear is basically anything that's going to cause pain. So it's the anticipation of pain, kinda like the hot stove scenario. If you didn't know the stove was on and you set your hand on a hot burner and you pull your hand away really fast and you're like, oh my God, and it stings your hand for a minute, that's intense pain. And then if you walk by the stove a few weeks later, your nervous system is like on high alert to the stove because it remembers the pain, right? And so its anticipation of pain is simply where fear is coming from.
Fear is activated anytime your unconscious self or your nervous system is anticipating some kind of pain. It might be in an emotional pain like, oh my God, what if I get hurt again? What if I get betrayed? What if somebody breaks up with me? What if they don't understand who I am? What if they make fun of me? What if I make a fool of myself on stage? That's all examples of the anticipation of emotional pain. Sometimes it can be fear can be the anticipation of physical pain. I'm afraid to go to the gym.I'm afraid to work out because I was so sore or, man, I hurt my knee last time I was squatting or when I was playing that sport I took a pretty good fall or something like this. And so it can be in the anticipation of physical pain, right? Sometimes fear is in the anticipation of a future pain, right? Or it can seem to be in more relationship to what's currently going on or what's right in front of me.
The key to remember is that all fear is a response to the anticipation of pain, not the actual enduring of pain itself. Because if you're actually in the midst of enduring pain, the raw fear goes away. And then we are dealing with the pain, we're figuring out how to move through it or we're actually getting through it, right? So if you look closely, the actual enduring of pain or the actual confronting of a challenge or the managing of a difficult situation, although it's not easy all the time, fear in its raw sense goes away as soon as you're in the midst of managing the actuality of the situation. And then we can usually go forward and think about, well, how do we solve for this and how do I create a different outcome, et cetera.
And so a great way to manage fear is to number one, is connect to the vision, the outcome that you aspire to. This is critical for managing fear in both senses, right? Number one, I'm going to be aware of fear,and I'm going to have the confidence to take action toward what I want to create despite the fear I'm executing, despite fear being present. I am afraid of public speaking. I prepared well, I got my talk ready to go and even though I'm nervous and I'm afraid and all those things, I'm anxious, all that's happening, I get on stage anyway. I do the talk right?
Even though I'm afraid of rejection, I'm going to ask that person out anyway. Like, I'm going to put myself out there and like, you know what? I might get the no, but I'm going to take action anyway. I'm going to apply for a supervisor position or a promotion at work or embrace an opportunity. Even though I feel afraid, even though fear and apprehension is there, I can see that this action is necessary for the outcome, the vision I want to fulfill. Therefore I'm going to take action despite the fear.
It is very hard, maybe impossible, to act despite fear if we don't know where we're going. Having a vision and having clarity of an outcome and a result that we want to fulfill that would better our life, that's important to us is the leverage that we often need on ourself to get ourself to execute despite fear. Another way to say it is the reward or the benefit of that outcome is more important to us than the temporary managing of the discomfort, the fear, the pain. And therefore we feel afraid, but we're going to act anyway. We're going to go for it, right?
And so it's so important to have that vision and have an outcome, have a sense of result that we want to aspire to, because that's going to give us leverage on ourself to be afraid and take action despite that fear, which is healthy to do, it's important to develop that capacity and that ability within oneself. Having a sense of vision and outcome is also critical for dissipating fear. Dissolving fear and learning to take action from a different place altogether. Take action from inspiration as opposed to fear. Take action from a place of confidence as opposed to fear. Take action from a place of curiosity and wonder instead of fear. That's all possible as well.
And the key to that, again, is having an outcome of vision, a result that you aspire to, that you want to get, and then relating to the process in a way that isn't in anticipation of pain. And so if I'm going to go to the gym as an example, instead of anticipating, I'm going to be sore, I'm going to make a fool of myself, I'm going to make a mistake, I'm going to get injured, I'm going to have to get sweaty, it's gross, people are going to judge me. Instead of anticipating fear, you can anticipate getting stronger. I'm going to go to the gym, I'm going to learn some new things, I'm going to meet some new people, I'm going to find a community of folks that are around me, anticipate connection, anticipate having fun at the gym, moving the body and getting healthier. If I'm anticipating the vision that I want to fulfill, and if I pre anticipate the results or the outcome that I want to achieve as an experience then I can start driving from motivation and confidence and inspiration and curiosity and empowerment as opposed to fear.
So, again, the way we can get ourselves to take action from these more empowered spaces within ourself and to train those qualities as opposed to fear is anticipate great things happening. If fear is the anticipation of pain, well,then inspiration is the anticipation of greatness, right? Inspiration is the anticipation of something wonderful happening or life getting better. And the more consistently we focus the mind on the anticipation of good things happening, anticipation of greatness, anticipation of beautiful things occurring then fear is not going to be there because there's no threat to the betterment of our life.
And so it's an adjustment. A lot of times, we're going to take the same action. It might be new. We might make some mistakes and have things not quite go our way. But the key is am I going to anticipate learning and growth? Am I going to anticipate getting stronger? Am I going to anticipate fun along the journey or am I going to anticipate failure? Am I going to anticipate getting made fun of or having a setback or the pain I'm going to have to endure? We're going to anticipate something on the journey and we can create one or the other on the journey. We can anticipate learning and growth and wonder and fun or we can anticipate pain and challenge and sense of failure. One is going to have a lot more fear be prevalent in our life and the other is going to have a lot more confidence and inspiration be prevalent in our life.
So, understand, we're never going to live without fear.That's just a nervous system response to our environment. But we can start to view our environment and our life situations in a way where we can anticipate pleasure and joy and fun and all those things I just named as opposed to letting the mind anticipate danger or some predator that isn't there around every turn of life. And so, hopefully this is helpful for you. Do your best to anticipate the great things coming your way.